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[GreenYes] Zero Waste in Salt Lake City
RE: Zero Waste in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City Mayor Rock Anderson took a bold step toward
sustainability and clean living, with the announcement this
week of his multi-pronged initiative to reach 'Zero Waste'
("Rocky Sets 'Zero Waste' Goal", Rebecca Walsh, The Salt
Lake Tribute).  He rightfully referred to the Zero Waste goal as
"an investment with huge returns".

If the Mayor really wants to reach 'Zero Waste' his initiative
should include a local beverage container deposit ordinance
or 'bottle bill', to recycle the estimated 100 million beverage
cans and bottles sold each year in Salt Lake City.  Most of
those containers now end up in the landfill or in a ditch.

Small deposits of a nickel or a dime reap big returns in ten states
and one city, where beverage containers are recycled at rates
of 80-95 percent. It may not be Zero Waste, but it's doggone close.

Reduction in virgin materials extraction and greenhouse gas
emissions, energy savings, avoided landfilling and a multitude
of other local and global environmental benefits would accrue if
most (or all) of the city's bottles and cans were recycled.

Most of the environmental benefits would be invisible to Salt Lake
City's residents and visitors. The visible benefit would be cleaner
roadsides, parks and  landscapes.

The 5-10-cent deposit makes producers and consumers
responsible for their wasted cans and bottles and costs
taxpayers nothing.  The refundable deposit provides a financial
incentive to recycle and a disincentive to litter.

Zero Waste?  You can't get there without a Bottle Bill.

Pat Franklin
Executive Director
Container Recycling Institute
1911 Ft Myer Drive, Suite 702
Arlington, Virginia  22209
703.276.9800  fax 703.276.9587

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